Posted by : swadeshi jagaran manch Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The power-looms industry produces a wide variety of cloth, both grays as well as processed. In our State, Karminagar district is considered as one of the districts which has more number of powerlooms. In the District, Sircilla is a hub of powerloom industry. Sircilla (Town) in Karimnagar district has highest number of powerlooms in the state. About 40 percent of the total power looms in the State are located in Sircilla town itself and the number of powerlooms in the town exceed 22,244. Over 45 thousand people make their lively hood from the power looms in the town and it can be said that the entire town is dependent on powerlooms either directly or indirectly. Numerous allied activities developed over time by the skilled weavers of Sircilla carved unique designs and a niche market, in different parts of the country, for their products. Unfortunately the powerloom industry in the town went into crisis with many weavers committing suicides. As many as 305 weavers have ended their lives in the last few years due to unemployment and mounting debts. As per the available statistics, 4,000 of the estimated 22,000 powerlooms in the town have been sold as scrap while an equal number of looms remained idle and were ready for sale. Some of the dyeing units in the town are also on the verge of closure. As a responsible social organisation the SJM deemed it fit to study the situation in Sircilla and contribute its best not only to bring normalcy in the industry but also to develop the town as a model cluster similar to town like Tirpur. As part of the study, the SJM conducted a detailed survey and identified many problems. The following are some of the problems in the powerloom industry. • Escalation in the costs of the inputs • Stagnant markets • Confining to only two verities of products • Lack of sufficient work to the Job workers compelling them to operate at less than their capacities • Non availability of required count of cotton/polyster yarn in the town • Labour shortage (The inability of the job workers and owners to pay enough wages to the labourers had lead to labour shortage) • Power shortage • Lack of adequate credit facility • Non implementation of Labour welfare programmes • Lack of adequate medical facilities to the weavers • Lack of creativity among the workers because of dwindling margins and eroding confidence levels • Lack of adequate training to weavers • Lack of adequate quality control mechanism • Non availability of Polyster processing unit in the town • Usage of cheap chemicals in dying of the cloth creating health and environment hazards • Lack of social security • Huge debt burden with consequential interest burden • Stagnation of selling price and dwindling margins • Increased Transportation charges • Huge competition • Lack of adequate infrastructure facilities To mitigate the problems enlisted above it is felt that a comprehensive pro-active approach on the part of the Government to support the industry is essential and the District Administration should bestow its attention to improve the situation in the town. The SJM after concluding the study and various rounds of consultation with experts could list the following measures to provide immediate relief and save the industry in these hard days of spiralling inflation and colossal unemployment. • Design and implement a comprehensive package with adequate corpus fund to revitalize the industry • Existing loans of powerloom weavers should be waived • The credit needs of weavers should be met by extending additional credit to weavers at concessional rate of interest of 4 per cent per anum • A Polyster processing unit should be established in Sircilla • Power subsidy should be increased so as to make power available to powerloom weavers at cheaper rate • All taxes on the inputs of the weavers should be abolished. • Arrangements should be made to ensure that the inputs required like yarn, dyes, chemicals etc. are available to the weavers at sircilla town only. • To improve the skill set of the weavers and workers short term training modules should be developed and such training should be extended in Service Centres • Some amount of subsistence should be paid to the workers during the training period • An institutional arrangement has to be made to expand markets and also to explore the possibility of exporting either raw kasement and Polyster grey or garments made with them to third world countries. A separate organisation on line of APCO should be established to take care of the marketing problems of weavers • A scheme should be formulated to encourage production of readymade garments using the cloth produced at Sircilla so that benefits of value addition accrue to the town. • A special health insurance scheme should be designed for powerloom weavers and all weavers should be covered under the scheme. • The performance of the hospital located in the town should be closely monitored so as to ensure better service to the patients. The district administration should also ensure that adequate funds are made available to the hospital both for maintenance and also for providing medicines to the patients. • An affluent treatment plant should be arranged at Sircilla to address the problem of pollution • Oldage pensions should be sanctioned to all the eligible oldage people irrespective of the quota • Minimum Wages and other Labour laws should be implemented for powerloom workers strictly • Relief package should be extended to the bereaved families of all the weavers who have committed suicide notwithstanding the conditions stipulated in the guidelines • Sale of spurious liquor in the town should be completely banned.

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